Back to first place in the USL’s Eastern Conference, Louisville City FC can extend its lead Wednesday when hosting a club near the bottom of the table, the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Slugger Field. Here’s what to watch for…
LouCity: 13-3-6 (45 points) in 22 matches; 1st in the USL’s Eastern Conference standings.
Harrisburg City Islanders: 6-14-3 (21 points) in 23 matches; 12th in the USL’s East.
Wednesday’s game will air, as with other LouCity games, live on Youtube, with play-by-play from Jim Wombwell and color commentary by Bob Valvano.
Vote for LouCity’s Modelo Man of the Match starting at the 75th minute of Sunday’s game on Twitter.
- ‘A lot of work to be done’ as Islanders visit
- Know the foe: Harrisburg City Islanders
- Video: O’Connor previews Wednesday’s game
- Videos: LouCity players Davis IV and Abend
- ‘A great professional,’ Davis IV steps up
Scoreboard watching: LouCity edged back atop the Eastern Conference table Friday thanks to a rallying, 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The club now sits a point ahead of the New York Red Bulls II and four up on FC Cincinnati. Both teams chasing Louisville have a game in hand. LouCity travels to play New York on Aug. 19 in a key late season matchup.
What’s at stake: The top eight teams from both USL conferences advance to single-elimination playoffs, up from six a year ago. The stronger the regular-season record, the higher chance of hosting postseason games. Better-seeded teams get priority during their run, meaning a first-place LouCity could play as many as four extra games at Slugger.
Stats leaders: USL Midseason MVP Chandler Hoffman (14 goals) and Midseason Rookie of the Year Kyle Smith (6 assists) are both one off the league lead in their respective categories. Hoffman is chasing the LA Galaxy II’s Jack McBean, who has 15 goals, while the right back Smith is one assist from equaling Sacramento Republic FC’s Daniel Barrera.
Davis IV hits stride: Midfielder George Davis IV, who scored six goals in 23 appearances last season for the Richmond Kickers, is one away from equaling that output at LouCity. The University of Kentucky product scored both goals in Pittsburgh, raising his season tally to five. Dating back to 2011, Davis IV scored seven goals in a season for the Dayton Dutch Lions.
Attendance trending up: A season after LouCity drew some of the USL’s largest crowds, the club ranks third of 29 teams in the league in average attendance. Entering Wednesday, Louisville’s 7,388 per game trails only FC Cincinnati (16,957) and the Sacramento Republic (11,486). Through the same number of home games last year, LouCity’s average was 5,688.
Back from injury: Winger Andrew Lubahn, who suffered burns on his feet in a July 23 game at FC Cincinnati, returned to the pitch against Pittsburgh, coming on in the 85th minute in his home state. Defender Enrique Montano also re-joined training this week after catching an elbow and suffering a concussion on a late set piece in LouCity’s July 30 game against Orlando City B.
Caution counts: Center midfielder Guy Abend, LouCity’s third-leading scorer, will be available to coach James O’Connor on Wednesday following a one-game suspension due to yellow card accumulation. Defender Sean Reynolds picked up his fifth point against the Riverhounds and will sit out the Harrisburg game. Davis IV is sitting on four cautions.
The streak: LouCity went into its July 23 game at FC Cincinnati riding a string of 17 straight games unbeaten, five off the USL record set by the 2013 Richmond Kickers. While the roll ended, the club has tallied only three losses this season and remains in contention for a USL title. LouCity’s previous franchise-best undefeated streak was six games in 2015.
Smith gets a rest: The rookie out of Lexington, Ky.’s Transylvania University didn’t appear July 30 against Orlando until subbing in for Enrique Montano in stoppage time. It was by design, giving the LouCity player with most minutes on the pitch a rest. Smith returned to play the full 90 in Pittsburgh, raising his season total for minutes to 1,760.
Stalwart returns: Since missing more than a month’s worth of games, midfielder Kadeem Dacres is back to playing significant time on the right side of the field. While the effort hasn’t shown up on the stat sheet — he’s without a goal or assist since April 27 — one of LouCity’s leading scorers from a season ago has led a number of attacks and showcased skill with the ball at his feet.